Highlighting opportunities for Marine Spatial Planning in Italy

The first MSPglobal training course in the West Mediterranean took place in Rome (Italy) on 8-9 October 2019. More than 40 participants took part in the training, representing the Italian ministries involved in the Technical Committee for the implementation of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), the Italian maritime regions, the appointed MSPglobal National Focal Point and experts and other experts from research centres and institutions.

The 2-days intensive training was organized in order to be as dynamic and engaging as possible, alternating frontal lectures with practical sessions and discussions. The objectives of the training were to improve the knowledge on why and how to build successful marine spatial plans, sharing experiences and raising awareness on sustainable blue economy objectives.

“Case studies give us the opportunity to carry out analysis and address MSP issues in specific areas in order to propose concrete measures and provide recommendations,” said Professor Francesco Musco from the University of Venice (IUAV). “To illustrate, the ADRIPLAN (ADRiatic Ionian maritime spatial PLANning) allowed us to advance issues related to integrated planning and coherence of plans and policies, with a focus on ecosystem-based approaches.”

Another MSP project of the National Research Council-Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR) aims to map the human uses and environmental components of 120 kilometers of coastline in the Emilia-Romagna region, with all related maritime and economic activities within these boundaries.

“We are developing a portfolio of measures through a ‘Managed Development Scenario’ to reduce conflicts among uses, build on synergies and reduce impacts on ecosystems,” explained CNR’s Andrea Barbanti. Sectors include coastal defense and erosion, decommissioning of offshore oil and gas installations, fisheries and wind farms, among others.

Sharing her experience of MSP in Sweden, Ingela Isaksson highlighted the IOC-UNESCO 10-step approach followed by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) to develop the Swedish national plan. SwAM also engages in international MSP cooperation and harmonization through EU-funded projects, for instance Pan Baltic Scope, co-organizer of the 4th edition of the MSPforum.

Other presentations focused on blue economy, stakeholder engagement, data and information and transboundary MSP, with debriefing sessions that allowed participants to exchange.

With the support of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the MSP Challenge game was used to simulate a planning process between three fictitious countries. Participants were asked to define a national maritime vision, objectives and indicators, while taking into account their stakeholders as well as the neighboring countries.

The training allowed participants to experience and discuss the meaning and implications of different maritime strategic objectives such as Sustainable Blue Growth and Blue economy, and on how to align and apply them in practice in Italy. It was an opportunity to discuss the next steps to deliver the national plans.

The course was co-organized with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT) and Italian National Research Council (CNR). It will contribute to the development of a regional roadmap for transboundary MSP and Sustainable Blue Economy in the West Mediterranean.

The training’s report is available online here.

MSP in Italy
MSP in Italy – Data
MSP in Italy – CORILA
Land-sea interaction
Data and information
Stakeholder participation
Preplanning process
Sustainable Blue Economy
Transboundary MSP
Presentation of the MSP Challenge
Ecosystem-based management in Sweden and the Baltic Sea
MSP in Sweden and the Baltic Sea
Ecomondo Conference

  MSPglobal pilot project in the Southeast Pacific


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